Mountain Goat: Ubuntu on Apple Hardware
by Jim Mendenhall
Tags: Mac, Ubuntu, Linux
Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
There’s no doubt about it, Apple hardware is hot these days. It seems like everywhere you look, someone is using an iPhone, iPad or Macbook. Apple is now the top computer maker in the world, outselling giants like HP and Dell. They also have some of the best consumer satisfaction ratings in the industry. Simply put, Apple is currently making the most reliable, desirable and fashionable computer hardware on the market. Some people, however, have issues with Apple’s OS X operating system and Apple’s ever growing control over the software that runs on their devices.
One such person is Adam Curry, the outspoken host of the No Agenda show. Adam recently surprised his co-host, John C. Dvorak, and many listeners when he announced that he was moving to Ubuntu for his daily computing. He installed the latest Ubuntu on his Macbook Air and dubbed it Mountain Goat. Here’s the conversation from the show.
So, in the end, was Mr. Curry happy with Ubuntu? According to his blog and several other mentions on No Agenda, his transition to Ubuntu seems to have been a success! He got his OPML software working in Wine and found a love for Thunderbird as his email client. It seems that the combination of the new Unity interface, which brings a new level of polish and sophistication to desktop Linux, and the wide variety of open source software is something that Mr. Curry finds not only useful but enjoyable to use.
This is an experience that could be repeated for millions of users. With the latest release of Ubuntu, Canonical has created an OS that the public at large can easily use. For those of us with special software needs, most of the time, we can find Linux software to do what we need, or find a way to run our Windows apps in Linux. It might take a little getting used to, but the benefits of having a totally open and free software stack is often worth any temporary discomfort.
As Apple moves more and more towards a locked-down OS that resembles the iPad, we might see more people wanting to abandon OS X but still finding that they love Apple hardware. Providing excellent Apple hardware support, especially for the Macbook and Macbook Air lines, seems like a great way for Canonical to gain significant market share in the near future.